What's the story?
A fine effort from Sunil Kumar, who clinched a 5-0 win in the 87kg summit bout in the Greco Roman category against Kyrgyzstan headlined the opening day of the Asian Wrestling Championships, and in the process ended the country's 27-year long wait for a gold medal in the category.
The last time India won a gold medal in Greco-Roman was 27 years ago in 1993, when Pappu Yadav had become the first Indian to win gold in the 48 kg category.
In case you didn't know
The Asian Wrestling Championships commenced on 18th February with the Greco Roman category and will culminate on 23rd February. The event is set to feature some big names such as Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia among others in action.
Heart of the matter
Sunil's defence and strategy was what worked for him in the final, needing to bring his best to the table in order to beat his opponent. Earlier, he had made an impressive comeback in his semifinal bout to reach the final.
Last year too, Kumar had made it to the final and returned home with a silver. Having won a gold medal in this year's event, Sunil was expectedly thrilled at his efforts -
“I am feeling happy to have earned India's first gold medal today. I have worked really hard on my ground techniques and it feels good to have done better than my last year's performance."
With a silver medal in Rome last month and a gold medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships, Sunil will be fancying his chances of doing well in the upcoming tournaments.